Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms tightly packed into a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice. Graphene is part of the family of atomic "nano-carbons" that includes carbon nanotubes and buckeyballs (C60 fullerenes), and is a single or a few atomic layers of the three-dimensional material graphite. Graphene is being most widely studied for its remarkable electronic transport properties at room temperature for ballistic transistors and other high-speed electronic components; its optical properties for solar photovoltaics; and its high surface area for ultracapacitors. Graphene has also been suggested as a potential material for use in quantum computing and spintronics.
At Penn State, physicists, materials scientists, and electrical engineers are modeling graphene, developing new techniques to grow or deposit defect-free graphene on wafers for electronics, and improving the processing of devices.